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Classic Indian Cooking Hardcover – October 1, 1980

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julie Sahni is director of Julie Sahni's Indian Cooking School, established in 1973.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (October 1, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688037216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688037215
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

208 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Paul Swanson on September 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Some eight years ago or so, I decided to try to impress both my vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends by making them some authentic Indian dishes. The only thing was, I had no real idea of what I was getting into, as almost all of the Indian food I had eaten had been in restaurants in London and the East Village in Manhattan.
Somehow I found my way to purchasing "Classic Indian Cooking." Slowly and methodically, I then made my way through the very helpful discussions about such things as roasting and crushing spices and herbs and techniques for preparing onions, garlic and ginger root as bases for various curry dishes.
I've since learned that this cookbook was ranked last year as one of six all-time cooking "bibles" by the New York Times. I can see why. It's not a picture text (although there are some helpful illustrations); it's a text for teaching yourself a wholly different cuisine whose fundamental cooking techniques may be completely foreign to many home chefs in the United States, although that seems to be changing.
There are some simply astonishing recipes in this book. You will need to take your time though, because they can be complex and may require preparation of recipe components a day ahead of the time you plan to serve your meal. You should take Julie Sahni's words to heart that cooking should be a "relaxing" enterprise.
If pressed to choose a favorite recipe, it would have to be "Keema Bhare Bandh Gobhi" (meat-stuffed cabbage rolls with ginger lemon sauce), which has a vegetarian counterpart in "Aloo Bhare Bandh Gobhi" (same cabbage rolls, but a vegetarian version stuffed with a spicy potato filling).
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Traveler on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I've eaten a lot of Indian food in restaurants, I'd never cooked Indian food before I bought this book. Nor am I an especially enthusiastic cook. I found Ms. Sahni's book informative (but not overwhelming) and very easy to follow. I've now tried five or six of the recipes and also made usli ghee and paneer--all came out perfectly. The most amazing thing to me was that when Ms. Sahni says, "Let this cook for 15 minutes, then it will start to spatter a little...", that's exactly what happens, practically to the second.
From one novice to many others who may be reading this, be sure you get all your spices and other ingredients measured and ready to go before you start cooking, because often things go in quick sequence. In the ingredient lists, I've also drawn brackets around the spices and other ingredients that go in at the same time so I can measure the group into one bowl and also have a quick reference for the stages of cooking without having to reread the narrative in the steps.
The only thing that has tripped me--and this is slight--is that when hot water is required during cooking, it's stated in the steps but not in the ingredient list. I'm now in the habit of writing it in the ingredient list so I'll know I'll need it ahead of time.
I have a couple of other Indian cookbooks that are also very good, but I keep going back to this one. Great book!!
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By S. Edmondson on December 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Classic Indian Cooking has been a staple reference in my kitchen for years. I rate it among my top 5, along with the classic Julia Childs and out-of-print Gourmet set. It is informative, concise, and clearly written. All of the recipes are successful if they are followed exactly, and the flavors are a delight to the most demanding eater. This is one of the few cookbooks that can be used successfully even if you haven't tasted Indian food before. I strongly recommend purchasing it.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Alexis Rosoff Treeby on June 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I disagree with those who said Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking was simpler--I found this one easier to follow and the recipes less complicated, yet equally as delicious. For the beginner, Sahni also takes time to explain basic techniques, concepts, and spices which are necessary to Indian cooking but may be unfamiliar to Westerners. She even explains how to make chenna and paneer (and then how to turn it into ras malai, which I recommend highly).
The recipes included are wide-ranging (definitely more in here than Jaffrey's) and an excellent introduction to Indian cooking. It's the best basic book on the subject I've used.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rene Herger on September 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking for as long as I can remember, shall we say decades, cooking great Indian food for my family and friends. When my children moved out, I gave each a copy of this book. Today they are cooking Julie Sahni's recipes for their circle of friends. How fortunate for us that she shares her authentic family mogul treasures, which we now call our family food. You will find this book easy to use because Julie Sahni, an amazing teacher and writer, has made it all so simple. There are almost 100 pages devoted to cooking techniques and description of spices. The instructions are clear, precise and detailed without being overly long. Every recipe is delicious, producing results exactly as described. Just try Rogan Josh-lamb in fragrant garlic cream sauce, Murgh Khoobani- Moghul spice braised Cornish hens with apricot or Goan Vindaloo-hot pungent curry and you will understand the definition of 'extraordinary flavor'. Classic Indian Cooking is one of my three most treasured possessions (the others being Julia Child's French and Marcella Hazan's Italian). I seriously recommend this book.
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